Posts Tagged ‘natural gas resources’

MSC Statement on Ongoing Legislative Developments in Harrisburg

We’re regretful that there wasn’t closure brought toward achieving commonsense legislative initiatives

Canonsburg, PA – As the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s legislative session draws to a close, Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC) president and executive director Kathryn Klaber issued the following statement regarding the months of good-faith, broad-based discussions that the industry continues to participate in with the goal of reaching sound, legislative and regulatory solutions that will encourage economic growth and job creation, while helping to put the Commonwealth on a path towards a cleaner energy future:

“From the outset of these discussions, our industry has been working closely with elected leaders and key stakeholders in an effort to modernize the Commonwealth’s legislative and regulatory framework. These commonsense and shared goals will help ensure that capital investment will continue to flow into Pennsylvania, which is critical to expand job opportunities during this period of high unemployment and economic uncertainty.

“Expanding the responsible development of the Marcellus Shale’s abundant, clean-burning natural gas resources will also help put our region and the nation on a path toward a cleaner and more secure environmental future.

“As part of a well thought out and considerate comprehensive overhaul that includes legislative and regulatory modernizations, our industry maintains its support for a competitively structured severance tax that allows for capital recovery and reinvestment, comparable to other leading shale gas producing states, such as Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.

“The leadership in the state senate deserves credit for their months of work in crafting a competitive, well-balanced package of reforms that would help ensure Pennsylvania remains a leader in responsible shale gas development.

“While our commitment to achieve these shared goals remains steadfast, we’re regretful that there wasn’t closure brought toward achieving these commonsense initiatives during this legislative session. We must get this historic opportunity right; we cannot afford not to.”

NOTE: Below are a host of MSC statements regarding regulatory and legislative developments and proposals:

  • “Kathryn Klaber … says the bill the House passed is more than double what is the least competitive severance tax in other shale gas states. The House bill would put a 39 cent tax on every thousand cubic feet of gas drilled. Klaber says a severance tax that is not competitive with other states would stifle competition in Pennsylvania.” (WDUQ,10/11/10)
  • “A competitively structured tax in Pennsylvania, that allows for critical capital investment, coupled with smart regulatory and legislative modernizations, is key to ensuring that this historic opportunity is realized in ways that benefit each and every Pennsylvanian.” (MSC statement, 9/29/10)
  • “A fair, competitive and updated regulatory framework and tax structure has been, and continues to be the position of the Marcellus Shale Coalition – a position the industry has conveyed to both the executive and legislative branches of our state government.” (MSC statement, 9/20/10)
  • “Kathryn Klaber, executive director of the MSC, an advocacy group representing almost all of the state’s shale gas producers, said the Arkansas [tax] model is one the coalition has been encouraging because ‘we view it as a good way to encourage development and return some revenue to local governments.’” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/8/10)
  • “MSC President Kathryn Klaber says the fiscal code language about the severance tax proposal includes a commitment by elected leaders to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of ‘how best to seize on the opportunities of the Marcellus in the future, and do so in a manner that benefits all Pennsylvanians.’ … ’We need an updated and modernized regulatory and legislative framework, and a fair tax strategy that keeps our state ahead of the curve in attracting the investment needed to bring these resources to the surface.’” (WDUQ, 7/7/10)
  • “MSC members will continue to be key participants in this iterative, ongoing process, working alongside the General Assembly, the administration and stakeholders across the Commonwealth to put our state in the best possible position to seize on the extraordinary opportunities of the Marcellus. And when it comes to that objective, there’s nothing more important than having a tax, regulatory and legislative framework in place that’s collaborative in its approach, and comprehensive in its design. Today’s agreement moves us one step closer toward the realization of such a plan.” (MSC statement, 7/6/10)
  • “We will continue to work closely with the General Assembly, the governor and his administration, as well as county and local officials, to craft commonsense solutions – especially modernizing our outdated regulatory framework – that encourage competitiveness, expanded job creation and energy security.” (MSC statement, 6/15/10)
  • “Kathryn Klaber, president of the MSC … said state regulations need to be ‘dusted off and modernized’ but emphasized the competitive nature of the gas drilling industry and its economic benefits for the state.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 5/4/10)
  • “We stand ready to work with you on a plan to convert this potential into historic opportunities for the future – and look forward to continuing to update you and your colleagues on our progress and priorities in the weeks and months to come.” (MSC letter to General Assembly, 4/8/10)
  • “The MSC is committed to an ongoing dialogue with key stakeholders on the development of this framework. This opportunity is far too important for Pennsylvania’s economic future and the future of clean energy development for the nation. We will continue to work closely with lawmakers and regulators to make sure Pennsylvania gets it right, especially given how fortunate we all are to have this once-in-a-lifetime chance to make a difference in the lives of so many.” (MSC statement, 2/9/10)


Ridge: Philadelphia City Council’s Marcellus Hearings a Positive Educational Opportunity

Fmr. Governor Urges Forum to Remain Focused on Facts, Science, Potential Benefits of the Marcellus

Canonsburg, Pa. – Today, the Philadelphia City Council’s Environment and Transportation & Public Utilities panels will hold a joint hearing focused on the responsible development of the Marcellus Shale’s clean-burning, job-creating natural gas reserves, which – by year’s end – is projected to create nearly 88,000 jobs in Pennsylvania alone, according to Penn State University researchers. This tightly-regulated production is enabled by the 60-year old energy stimulation technology known as hydraulic fracturing, which has been safely used in more than 1.1 million wells nationwide without ever directly impacting groundwater.

Gov. Tom Ridge, a strategic advisor to the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing, where MSC president and executive director Kathryn Klaber is slated to provide testimony and expert analysis:

“Developing the Marcellus Shale’s abundant, job-creating natural gas resources in a world-class manner is the priority of every operator in this industry and an imperative we must get right. The Philadelphia City Council deserves much credit for examining this production and the benefits – thousands of jobs, a cleaner energy future, and more affordable supplies of energy for consumers – that are being realized for each and every Pennsylvanian.

“Education and an honest and civil debate about this process is absolutely critical, and the industry is committed to equipping Pennsylvanians with the facts about this tightly-regulated, environmentally sound development. Our hope, and expectation, is that today’s City Council meeting will provide a venue to help advance these shared goals.”

NOTE: A recent study by the non-profit STRONGER (State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations) — a national board of state regulatory officials, industry experts and environmental stakeholders — underscored the fact that “hydraulic fracturing has been used in Pennsylvania since the 1950s. Since the 1980s, nearly all wells drilled in Pennsylvania have been fractured. Although thousands of wells have been fractured in Pennsylvania, DEP has not identified any instances where groundwater has been contaminated by hydraulic fracturing.” Click HERE to view this study on-line.

Copyright Marcellus Shale Coalition

Marcellus Shale: Rebuilding our workforce and infrastructure

September 10, 2010

While many regions across the nation, and the Commonwealth, continue to face sluggish economic times and continued job loss, the responsible development of the Marcellus Shale’s clean-burning natural gas resources are driving commerce, and genuine and lasting economic activity, opportunity and job growth.

The benefits of the Marcellus are impacting our local workforce, helping to create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, and delivering more affordable and stable supplies of homegrown energy to Pennsylvania consumers.

By now, you’ve surely seen, or experienced, this work and its benefits firsthand. On travels to work, church, or to the Weis Market on West Bald Eagle Street, it’s hard not to recognize the increase in truck traffic, and construction on the roads, in and around Clinton County.

In many cases, Marcellus development is responsible for both the traffic and road construction – the two go hand-in-hand.

We understand and recognize the concerns regarding the uptick in truck traffic and its impact on our roads. And we also understand, as good neighbors, that we must do everything to ensure that roads are left in better condition than when our operations began.

So what actions are our industry taking to ensure that this commitment is kept?

This year alone, the Marcellus Shale industry will invest more than $100 million to repair and repave roads in the communities we operate in – and in virtually every case, we’re rebuilding these roads to higher standards, ensuring their ability to handle the increased traffic and weight. These upgrades and repairs are done overwhelmingly by local contractors, another example of our industry’s robust and growing supply chain – the “Marcellus Multiplier'” – helping to give a much-needed shot in the arm to local businesses and to our workforce.

But not only are these commonsense infrastructure investments the responsible thing to do, and are in most cases required by PennDOT, but it’s also in our companies’ interests to ensure that roads remain intact, passable and safe so that our trucks can access sites.

In fact, each Marcellus operator must submit, and subsequently have approved, an exhaustive road management plan to PennDOT, making certain that road management and reconstruction plans are in place.

And as part of this comprehensive plan, operators are required to “bond” each section of a given road where their trucks may travel. Trucks are only permitted to travel on roads that are bonded, and are part of an approved PennDOT road management plan. This brings forth increased, and needed, oversight and transparency.

It’s also important to understand that, according to PennDOT, “no additional tax dollars are needed for necessary road repairs due to increased” Marcellus development.

A good example of this system at work is the recently completed Route 664/Coudersport Pike project. Late last month, the road cones disappeared and the construction signs came down along that five-mile stretch. With a price tag of $1.2 million, this upgrade project was funded by two natural gas companies. Our industry will continue to make similar multi-million dollar infrastructure investments across the Commonwealth, as Marcellus development expands.

And as we work to repair, repave and rebuild our roads, we are also taking commonsense steps – driven by advancements in technology – to reduce the volume of overall truck traffic.

Approximately 1,500 truck-trips are required to develop a single Marcellus well. Of those 1,500 trips, nearly 1,000 are water tankers. The development of alternative water transportation systems to our sites is just one of several technologies that would reduce truck traffic.

At the same time, our industry is now recycling more than 60 percent of the water used throughout this process – some companies are recycling 100 percent of their water. These proven technologies, which continue to advance by the day, are dramatically reducing our overall water usage, and therefore allowing our industry to markedly reduce our overall truck traffic and road use.

But there’s much more to do, and we recognize this.

Mitigating and restoring the wear and tear on roads associated with Marcellus development is a responsibility we take very seriously; we’re committed to addressing this issue, and others, directly and straightforwardly. And in addition to our ongoing road restoration efforts, the Marcellus Shale Coalition is working with local officials and state regulators to craft solutions aimed at ensuring Pennsylvania’s roads are properly maintained and safe for everyone.

That’s one reason why the MSC is partnering with the PennDOT, the state police, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and other key transportation officials, for a Marcellus Transportation symposium on Oct. 12 in State College. The event, open to drivers, company safety coordinators or anyone with direct involvement with the transportation component of drilling operations, is focused on better educating “carriers and truck drivers supporting the natural gas industry of Pennsylvania’s regulations to improve their safe operating practices.”

Our commitment to each and every Pennsylvanian from the outset has been simple, and it’s something that our industry reinforced in a recent Express column, as part of our ongoing dialogue: “We are committed to working tirelessly each day to be good stewards of our land and waterways. We are also taking steps to ensure our operations minimize disruptions and risks in and near energy-producing communities. After all, our families live in these areas too.”

Kathryn Klaber is the president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), an industry group that represents shale gas producers and can be found on the web

Copyright: The Express , Lock Haven, PA

MSC: Tax Hike on Marcellus Shale Job Creation the Wrong Approach

Group urges commonsense reforms, dialogue aimed at safely expanding natural gas development, jobs in Pa.

Canonsburg, Pa. – The Pennsylvania state House of Representatives is currently considering what would be the nation’s most onerous taxes on the environmentally responsible development of clean-burning, job-creating natural gas from the Commonwealth’s Marcellus Shale formation. Kathryn Klaber, president and executive director of the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), issued this statement:

“Pennsylvanians continue to face troubling economic times, with nearly one out of every ten citizens in the Commonwealth out of work today.

“Despite this difficult climate, the environmentally-safe development of the Marcellus Shale’s natural gas resources continues to create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs at a time when they’re most needed. This responsible development is not only generating hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue for state and local governments, but it’s also delivering clean-burning, homegrown energy supplies to struggling families in the form of affordable natural gas for home and water heaters, as well electricity.

“We will continue to work closely with the General Assembly, the governor and his administration, as well as county and local officials, to craft commonsense solutions – especially modernizing our outdated regulatory framework – that encourage competitiveness, expanded job creation and energy security.

“Unfortunately, this enormous tax hike and misguided call for blanket moratoriums on shale gas production not only put Pennsylvania on a path to become one of the least competitive energy-producing states in the country but also threatens critical capital investments, which are essential for continued job growth. Instituting new taxes and an unnecessary moratorium will only drive away jobs – what a missed opportunity that would be.”


Energy co. says no to natural gas drilling at Moon Lake

County officials had been negotiating with EnCana Oil & Gas USA Inc. of Denver.

By Steve
Staff Writer

An energy company that plans to drill for natural gas in the Back Mountain has advised Luzerne County officials that the company will not pursue a lease for natural gas drilling at Moon Lake Park.

County officials had been negotiating with EnCana Oil & Gas USA Inc. of Denver to drill at the park and tap lake water needed to help fracture rock to release gas.

“The county informed us of their interest in entering into a lease for the development of natural gas resources on the Moon Lake property,” EnCana spokeswoman Wendy Weidenbeck said in an e-mail.

Weidenbeck said that as with any business opportunity, companies must evaluate multiple factors to help guide their decisions.

“We carefully considered the potential needs of our business and concerns over the development of natural gas resources on recreational property. After careful consideration, we have decided that we will not pursue a lease to drill for natural gas resources on the Moon Lake property,” she said.

Commissioner Chairwoman Maryanne Petrilla said she has been out of the office after knee surgery and had not yet been briefed on the issue.

Commissioner Thomas Cooney said he had not talked with EnCana officials and that Gibbons had alerted him to the news on Friday.

Cooney said other energy companies might be interested in exploration at the county-owned park and the development of a request for proposals was not out of the question. However, “there has been no conversation leading that way right now,” he said.

Cooney said he did not know how far along talks about selling water from the lake at Moon Lake Park have come. But if the county were to negotiate the sale of water, there would have to be appraisals and bidding and permits would have to be secured, he said.

The park’s 48-acre, spring-fed lake holds millions of gallons of water and is 13.5 feet in its deepest spot, county officials have said. All park water drainage pipes also feed into the lake.

Cooney said he thinks the reaction of the Sierra Club to drilling at Moon Lake probably influenced EnCana’s decision.

An official with the Sierra Club’s Northeastern Pennsylvania chapter said in February that county commissioners didn’t have legal authority to allow natural gas drilling at the park, which is located in Plymouth Township.

Frank Muraca, who sits on the organization’s executive committee, had said much of the park land was purchased with state and federal funds in the 1960s through a program known as the Project 70 Land Acquisition and Borrowing Act.

Lands acquired through the act must be used for recreation, conservation and historical purposes unless approval is granted by the General Assembly, the governor and the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Muraca had said he also found other legal and zoning stumbling blocks that would have to be met to allow drilling.

Muraca had initially presented the information to Commissioner Stephen A. Urban, who has said he couldn’t comment on Muraca’s assertions until he did his own research. He has said he is supportive of “responsible” drilling on county property to generate needed revenue.

Urban did not return a message seeking comment for this story.

The park officially closed Jan. 28 because commissioners stripped funding for staff and other expenses from the 2010 budget, saying that they could not justify non-essential expenses with a property tax increase.

Petrilla has said she is willing to consider any offer to generate revenue, as long as the park’s recreational atmosphere is not compromised. She also has said she would not support any offers that would drain or pollute the lake.

Steve Mocarsky, a Times Leader staff writer, may be reached at 970-7311.

Copyright: Times Leader